1. By Tommaso Fonti and Cristina PiangatelloCustoms and International Transportation Law Department.

  1. The AGREEMENT is part of the bilateral Italy-China collaboration, that already started some time ago on the economic, commercial and cultural level, also following the signing of the Italy-China Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure project (BRI).
  2. Following the AGREEMENT, collaboration protocols were adopted between the customs offices of Venice, Trieste and Ravenna and the customs district of Shanghai, the first Chinese customs district for the volume of customs operations and the first port in the world for the volume of containerized traffic.
  3. The AGREEMENT provides for direct cooperation between the respective customs offices and less bureaucracy to facilitate the commercial activities of the companies of the two countries, with particular facilitations for authorized economic operators (AEO).
  4.  The new AGREEMENT provides for direct contact between the respective operational offices, for the purpose of exchanging professional experience aimed at making more effective the fight against customs fraud and infringements, which in the past have assumed particular relevance both for tax and non-taxation aspects such as: under-billing, violations of intellectual property rights, illicit trafficking of waste.
  5. As part of the benefits for authorized economic operators (AEO), the AGREEMENT, in addition to planning a reduction in bureaucracy, provides for an intensification of collaboration to implement measures in line with what is indicated in the agreements for the mutual recognition of the respective facilitation programs of the EU and China, which include among the others:
  • fewer controls (the status of the participant in the commercial partnership program is recognized by both programs and is used as a risk assessment factor in automatic detection systems);
  •  risk management (the customs administration can identify reliable operators and concentrate their controls on shipments of unknown / unreliable commercial operators);
  •  the possibility of exchanging information on customs problems encountered by national economic operators in the country of destination of the goods.